Drummer Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones has succumbed to cancer, and has passed away in a London hospital at 80. The news came weeks after it was announced that Watts would miss the band’s US tour dates to recover from an unspecified medical procedure. Watts was previously treated for throat cancer in 2004.
He had been a member of the Rolling Stones since January 1963, when he joined Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones in their fledgling group.
Ringo and Paul are among the artists who paid their respects early on.
The statement from the Rolling Stones’ publicist said: “He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today [Tuesday] surrounded by his family.
“We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.”
Charlie Watts is survived by his wife Shirley, daughter Seraphina and granddaughter Charlotte.